Charlie Hebdo Attack Raises Fears Of More Support For Europe’s Right

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from The Huffington Post,

A day after terror struck Paris, Europe’s resurgent far-right and anti-immigrant parties trumpeted a unified message: I told you so.

Populist movements warning of the “Islamization” of Europe have been gaining ground across the continent, in small countries like Denmark and large ones like Britain, Germany and France. The attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo could win more supporters to their cause.

Fears of precisely the kind of commando-style attack that struck the newspaper on Wednesday, killing 12 people, have risen sharply in recent months as home-grown fighters return from Syria and Iraq. Such warnings have been aired across the political spectrum, but it’s the anti-immigrant parties that have reaped the biggest benefits.

Now the surreal scenes of carnage on a quiet Parisian street — with cartoonists as victims — are likely to feed into the arguments of rightwing forces that have been the loudest in declaring Islam to be incompatible with Western values. There are concerns that more mainstream Europeans will be pulled into their orbit, and that mainstream parties will be tempted to parrot the hardline rhetoric.

Even as Europe’s Islamic community leaders lined up to condemn the terrorism, and a Muslim policeman emerged as a hero in Wednesday’s drama, populist forces lost no opportunity to lash out against Europe’s Muslim population.

In Britain, Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-Europe, anti-immigrant UK Independence Party, said the attacks were the result of “a fifth column” of people living within Western societies “who hate us.”

His language was condemned by other politicians. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, accused Farage of implying “that many, many British Muslims who I know feel fervently British but also are very proud of their Muslim faith are somehow part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”

In the nation hit by the terror, Marine LePen, leader of the surging far-right National Front, urged the French to wake up to the threat of Islamic fundamentalism: “The time of denial, hypocrisy is no longer possible.”

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